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License Plate


Swedish readers might tell me different, but I think this is a mid-50s era license plate from their fair country. It appears to be aluminum, with riveted numbers of the same material. In a reverse-anachronism, I put this beaut on the front bumper of my 1968 Volvo 1800S to cover up some unsightly drilling. I had to fabricate a bracket from a little strip of brass and I would say it looks fairly professional if I didn’t know any better.

The plate mounting was part of the celebration centering around my victory over the Volvo’s aging and cantankerous electrical system. Although I think I have won the battle and not the war, I relieved to enjoy our global warming temperatures by zipping around the back roads without worrying about a sudden and catastrophic electrical failure.

After narrowing the problem down to the original Bosch generator, I took it down to a local outfit to get rebuilt. The unit tested perfectly on the bench, generating 50 amps at 2000 rpm—20 amps over its rating. But no dice when I installed it. Turns out it was generating fine, but not in the correct polarity. After a little RTFM, I found that one must set the polarity by sparking a wire connected to the positive terminal on the battery across the field terminal. Pretty low-tech, but it worked!

Posted by on December 31, 2006